Liverpool have got themselves “perhaps the best goalkeeper in the world” in Alisson Becker, Roma Sporting Director Monchi has admitted.
The Reds are expected to wrap up the bumper £66milllion deal imminently after Alisson flew into Merseyside on Wednesday evening.
Liverpool had informed the player’s agents that they would not be making a bid this summer but Loris Karius’ jittery start to pre-season seemed to prompt them to alter their stance and table a £62million bid earlier this week before they upped their offer to meet Roma’s asking price.
Eager to enlighten supporters about the deal, Monchi explained that the proposed fee, a record for a goalkeeper, was too good to turn down.
“First of all I want to say that nothing is finalised yet,” he told the official Roma website. “Alisson is in Liverpool and we’re at a very advanced stage, but the deal is not done yet. If everything goes smoothly, it will be finalised soon.
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“The offer was way above the market average – it was very significant. We weighed up the pros and cons and decided to speak to Liverpool in order to come to an agreement.”
Liverpool’s aim is to permanently solve a long-term issue between the sticks by recruiting a top-class stopper who will earn a number of points over the course of the season.
Monchi’s glowing endorsement will only further inflate supporters’ expectations.
“It’s nice to talk about ambitions, but you need to use your head. Alisson is a top player, perhaps the best goalkeeper in the world,” he said. “Last year people were saying that the departure of [Wojciech] Szczesny was the end of the world. Alisson had to complete a journey too.”
Forward Diego Perotti has also hailed his departing team-mate, emphasising the importance of his presence both on and off the field.
“Alisson was a really important goalkeeper for us and his saves rescued a lot of points and games last season, but that is football,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“Alisson is a big loss for us, because he’s a great guy, was a strong part of the locker room dynamic and we’re sorry to see him go, but life is like that.”